Yankees-Tigers brawl: Gary Sanchez cheap shots led to Tigers teammates fighting

By now, the local town crier has no doubt informed you that the Yankees and Tigers engaged in a legit brawl in Detroit on Thursday. As with any righteous donnybrook, blame can be widely distributed. By all appearances, the Tigers threw at Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez for no reason other than he'd been lighting them up all series. That's always a ridiculous reason to throw at someone -- it's the baseball equivalent of a toddler tantrum. So Sanchez started out with an arresting view from high atop the moral high ground. He'd have been justified in throwing some soupbones, so long as he did so in keeping with the ancient laws of combat. 

That's not what he did, though. Instead, Sanchez indulged in a couple of cheap shots during the course of the day's events. First, here's Sanchez -- No. 24 in your programs -- taking a shot at Miguel Cabrera, who was restrained on the ground and thus in no position to defend himself ... 

All right. That's not how this is done, Gary. 

Now let's move ahead and watch Mr. Sanchez throw a punch at Nick Castellanos who -- and this will probably ring of the familiar -- was restrained on the ground and thus in no position to defend himself ... 

Yeah, that's another cheap shot by Sanchez. 

All of this wasn't lost on the Tigers. Detroit DH Victor Martinez during part of the festivities appeared to be casually chatting up Sanchez, and that didn't go over particularly well in the Tiger dugout. In particular, Justin Verlander seemed displeased that Martinez had been a bit too chummy with Sanchez ...

Anyhow, Sanchez, it says here, would've been justified in charging the mound against Michael Fulmer and squaring off, and he similarly would've been justified in squaring off with a Tiger to be determined during any of the three bench-clearing incidents. What's not in keeping with the code of such things is to take not one but two cheap shots. 

Yep, to the extent that we need to have a villain in this situation, Gary Sanchez is the obvious choice. The Tigers and Yankees won't play again in 2017, but the guess here is that this one gets filed away for later. 

CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for FOXSports.com and ESPN.com. He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

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